Iceland tops every traveler’s bucket list these days, and Sam and I were excited to finally travel there last winter to see what all the fuss was about.
Whereas Sam will eat anything he is biologically capable of digesting, my palate is significantly less adventurous. And some of Iceland’s famous delicacies—such as fermented shark, blood pudding, and puffin—didn’t exactly leave my mouth watering.
Sam’s concerns were financial. Iceland is a notoriously expensive country and he didn’t want to blow our entire trip budget on food.
So we were happy to discover that Reykjavik has food options to cater to every palate and budget.
Here is our list of the best places to eat in Reykjavik on a budget:
Whether you’re a diehard vegan or simply looking for some delicious, wholesome food, Gló is the restaurant for you.
The menu changes daily, but always features various vegan, vegetarian, and meat dishes. Gló also offers a wide variety of creative side salad options.
Sam and I both ordered the raw vegan lasagna and it was absolutely incredible. Our meal here may have been our favorite of our trip.
The only drawback is that, because of its popularity, the line to order can get somewhat backed-up.
Laugavegur 20b, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Quirky Café Babalú is a great place to stop for soup, sandwich, and a slice of decadent cheesecake.
We visited Café Babalú twice, because there is something incredibly comforting about a warm bowl of tomato soup on a cold winter night.
Another great thing about Café Babalú is that the bathroom is decked out in “Star Wars” paraphernalia. Seriously. All other restaurant bathrooms need to up their game.
Skólavörðustígur 22, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
There comes a point on every trip when I get a hankering for a honking big hamburger. In Reykjavik, Burgerjoint more than satisfied that craving. It is considered the foremost burger spot in Reykjavik by locals and visitors alike.
The only downside is that the seating is quite limited. We ended up sharing a table with another couple, but that was fine with us.
Bíldshöfði Bíldshöfða 18, 110 Reykjavík, Iceland
Eldur and Is
In my opinion, crepes should constitute their own food group and be eaten daily. Since my body is magnetically drawn to any creperie I happen to pass on the street, we had to check out Eldur and Is.
While I never imagined Iceland to be a great crepe destination, the ones Eldur and Is served up were delightful.
If crepes aren’t your thing (and you’re not cold enough already), Elder and Is also has a great ice cream selection.
Skólavörðustígur 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Though not a place to eat necessarily, if you’re looking for a caffeine fix, head to Reykjavik Roasters.
While I admit that I find the taste of any coffee as palatable as cow dung, Sam is a hipster, coffee snob (he even roasts his own coffee beans at home). He loved the coffee at Reykjavik Roasters and still laments that we only went once on our trip.
For a hearty meal that will warm you up, check out Noodle Station. It’s a simple, Thai-inspired restaurant without many options (basically just noodle soup with beef or chicken), but it tastes delicious and is extremely kind to your wallet.
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